Hokonui (radio network)

Broadcast area Southland/Mid-Canterbury/South Taranaki
Slogan "One Great Song After The Other"
Frequency 94.8 FM Southland, 91.3 FM South Otago, 92.5 & 96.5 FM Ashburton, 1485 AM Twizel, 88.2FM & 1557 AM Hawera
First air date 1994
Format Adult Contemporary
Callsign meaning 4ZG
Former callsigns 4ZG
Owner Radio New Zealand until 1994
Independently owned 1994 - 2004
Since 2004 - Independent but operated by NZME

Hokonui (previously known as Hokonui Gold) is an Adult Contemporary radio station that is based in Gore, New Zealand and broadcasting across Southland, South Otago, Mid Canterbury and South Taranaki. The name Hokonui comes from the Hokonui Hills which can clearly be seen in Gore and the Southland Plains.


The station was formerly known as 4ZG or Radio Hokonui, which broadcast on 558 AM and was operated by Radio New Zealand. 4ZG was first started in 1981 and the station was used in the evenings to broadcast the Concert Programme until 1990 when Concert FM began broadcasting on its own frequency in Southland. Overnight during the 1980s the station carried the ZM All Nighter from the 1ZM studios in Auckland. In 1992 4ZG was reduced to just 4 hours a day of programming and outside this time a simulcast of 4ZA was played. In the eyes of many this change seemed the station was dying of a slow and painful death so as a result two locals purchased the station. In 1994 4ZG became Hokonui Gold and reverted to being live and local.[1]

In 1996 Hokonui Gold made the move to FM when it began broadcasting on 92.4 (Forest Hill) and 94.8 (High Peak) but with a lack of FM Stereo sound found on most FM Stations. The 558 AM frequency was taken over by The Radio Network and was first used as a second frequency for Classic Hits ZAFM but later this frequency was used for Radio Sport. Over the years Hokonui Gold continued to operate independently and competed well against many new network stations that arrived in Southland during the late 1990s. Hokonui Gold prided themselves on being a local station and once published advertisements stating We believe Auckland radio should stay in Auckland and Our bosses don't live in Canada or Ireland, emphasizing the fact the station is locally owned and operated.

In 2004 the station was leased back to The Radio Network, the successor to Radio New Zealand's commercial operations. Despite this change Hokonui Gold still remained live and local but now uses Newstalk ZB news service and The Radio Network advertising. One of the most popular shows on Hokonui Gold is The Farming Show and this show is now played on Newstalk ZB in rural areas and across all of New Zealand on Radio Sport the show is now produced from the Radio Network studios in Dunedin. In 2005 both frequencies were moved to Hedgehope and the 92.4 FM frequency reassigned to Coast. In 2006 spot coverage to West Otago was established on 95.2 FM High Peak. FM Stereo broadcasting was introduced after 2009.


Station Lineup

Southland & South Otago Breakfast 6-9AM With Luke Howden

Ashburton Breakfast 6-9AM With Phil (Hoops) Hooper

Hawera Breakfast 6-9AM With Bryan Vickery

Mornings 9AM-12PM With Nicky Rennie (Presented from NZME's Dunedin Studios)

The Farming Show 12-1PM With Jamie McKay (Presented from NZME's Dunedin Studios)

The Muster 1-2PM With Johnny Turner (Presented from NZME's Gore Studios)

Drive 2-6PM With Malcolm Gayfer

Ashburton Drive 2-6PM With Peter Mac

Southland and South Otago Saturday Mornings are presented by Patrina Roche from Dunedin. Mid Canterbury Saturday Mornings are hosted by Phil (Hoops) Hooper. Sundays are hosted by Cody Trillo-Feely and Felixe O'Keefe. All other times the station plays non stop music (No announcer). The station still has news on the hour including evenings and pre-recorded weather forecasts for the Southland, South Otago and Mid Canterbury stations fed through from Newstalk ZB.

The Farming Show

The Farming Show with Jamie Mackay airs from midday, and is presented and produced in Dunedin. The Farming Show can be also heard on Newstalk ZB in certain regions and on Radio Sport. The show was first started in 1994 coinciding with the launch of Hokonui Gold and was originally a 20 minute weekday show called "Farming Today." [2] While the show could previously be heard online as well as on Hokonui Gold, programming was extended to the Newstalk ZB and Radio Sport stations in 2004. The show was originally produced from the Hokonui Gold Gore studios but was moved to Dunedin in 2009 after Jamie Mackay relocated to Dunedin. A second farming show called The Muster with Jonny Turner can be heard exclusively on Hokonui.

In 2009, the Broadcasting Standards Authority rejected a complaint about a discussion of vegetarianism advocate Lord Johan Steyn in which McKay called the Lord a "pommy git". The authority ruled the term pommy was "unlikely to offend, insult or intimidate" and the expression pommy git was not derogatory.[3] Australian cricketer Peter Gardiner was found guilty of racism by the Western Australian Cricket Association for using the same term four years earlier,[4] but the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission no longer considered the term offensive.[3] The decision sparked a public discussion about profanity and racial terminology.[5]

In 2013, the authority upheld a complaint against McKay for naming a Queenstown bar, and criticising both the venue and its staff.[6] It found McKay and his companions been refused service at a Queenstown bar due to "intoxication and aggressive behaviour", and McKay had then gone to make on-air comments which were unfair, vengeful and personally motivated.[7] The National Business Review compared the case to that of National Party MP Aaron Gilmore, who resigned over controversial comments he made to a Hanmer Springs waiter.[8] However, McKay said he had a different understanding of events.[9] He made a formal apology to the business,[10] and was not penalised for his comments.[11]


This is a map of Hokonui stations operating in 2016.


The Southland Hokonui station is the original station, based on the Main Street of Gore. The majority of the programming on the station today still originates from this studio however in more recent years some programming originates from the NZME studios in Invercargill, Dunedin or Auckland.

In May 2012 Hokonui Gold simply became Hokonui. This was part of a rebrand exercise which included new station imaging, logo along with a shift to a contemporary country music format. The format change was not well received by many listeners and by July the format was reverted to an adult contemporary format.[12]

South Otago

As part of the changes Hokonui Gold's sister station Radio Clutha was also rebranded to Hokonui 91.3 but retained its breakfast show. Radio Clutha itself used to receive its programming outside of breakfast from Hokonui Gold but retained its own continuity and commercials. The station today continues to produce its own local continuity, commercials and weather forecasts are fed through from either Newstalk ZB Dunedin or Newstalk ZB Auckland. In 2013 the South Otago breakfast was dropped and simply replaced with the Gore-based breakfast show.


Hokonui was expanded into Ashburton in July 2014 broadcasting on 92.5FM and 96.5FM. This station was originally a local station known as 3ZE and later became part of the Classic Hits network as Classic Hits 92.5. Local programming was reduced to a local breakfast show in the 1990s and for much of the 2000s this show was presented by Phil Hooper. In April 2014 all Classic Hits stations were rebranded as The Hits and in most markets the local breakfast presenter was moved to a daytime 9am - 3pm timeslot. The rebrand of Ashburton's Classic Hits 92.5 to The Hits was not received well by local Ashburton listeners both with a change in music format and the loss of a local breakfast show. In July 2014 a decsision was made to network Hokonui into the Ashburton market replacing The Hits on 92.5FM, local announcer Phil Hooper became the local breakfast announcer with the station running network programming outside this time. The Hits remains in Ashburton on 89.3FM with no local programming.

External links


  1. "All About Hokonui Gold". Archive of Hokonui Gold website. 2006. Archived from the original on 10 February 2006.
  2. "Hokonui Gold's Farming Show". Archive of Hokonui Gold Website. 2006. Archived from the original on 10 February 2006.
  3. 1 2 "Foreman and The Radio Network Ltd - 2009-158" (Authority decision). bsa.govt.nz. Broadcasting Standards Authority. 23 March 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  4. "Aussie who insulted a pom 'is a racist'". Telegraph Media Group. The Daily Telegraph. 11 February 2005. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  5. "Editorial: Let us not praise the lord". Southland Times. Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  6. "BSA says radio host abused position by airing grievance" (Press release). bsa.govt.nz. Broadcasting Standards Authority. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  7. "Otago Casinos Ltd and The Radio Network Ltd - 2013-004" (Authority decision). bsa.govt.nz. Broadcasting Standards Authority. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  8. Young, Victoria (13 May 2013). "Newstalk ZB host caught 'going Gilmore'". National Business Review. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  9. Daly, Michael (13 May 2013). "BSA rules against Mackay". Fairfax New Zealand. Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  10. McCracken, Heather (13 May 2013). "Radio host 'abused position' in row with Queenstown bar". Otago Daily Times. APNZ. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  11. "Bar complaint backfires on ZB host". 3 News (MediaWorks New Zealand). New Zealand Newswire. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  12. http://www.facebook.com/Hokonui

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